On 21st October the English club of “Young Citizens of Armenia” project hosted Andre Simonian, the lead singer and founder of The Beautified Project to share his knowledge and experience in “Art for Social Change”. Andre had a lively discussion with the participants in a very warm and friendly atmosphere. Andre was sharing interesting stories and ideas on how the people in art, and in general, can raise social awareness and make a social change. Below I would like to share some of the highlights of the meeting and my own feelings about it.
The Beautified Project is a band which is concerned about various social issues: environment, domestic violence, logging, diabetic children. They are often organizing concerts using their music as a tool to make a social change. According to Andre organizing concerts is a good way to involve the media in the issue. Andre spoke about the environmental situation as well. He referred to the mining issue, as well as the New Year and Christmas celebrations in Armenia which bring to deforestation of firs resulting in the latter being so cruelly cut and used as Christmas trees. Many people cut those trees to make their children happy at Christmas time while this causes a critical damage to the environment and to their children subsequently. We all know that “If there’s a problem, there is a solution”. As Andre said, a good solution to this issue could be awareness raising activities which had already been initiated by “The Beautified Project”. The band had organized a concert against deforestation in order to raise awareness about the issue thus contributing to a better future. What I think, it is so important to take an action right now as it is the very moment when we are building the future where we will be living tomorrow. This meeting made me and the other participants think and reflect on a number of issues. Why do we always complain about the situation in our country making it even worse by ourselves? Why do we always long for cleaner streets while being the ones spitting on the streets, throwing all sorts of rubbish out there everywhere possible. Taking a good care of our apartments, keeping them always clean while being so “vastly dirty and damaging” in the streets makes me wonder. Who are we when no one is watching, right? We’re longing for Europe leaving our country in a comparatively “miserable” situation while escaping from the problem is not exactly a solution.
Knowledge is a power, we should be educated and willing to share our knowledge to make a change. Every nation deserves its government. Therefore, make your own change and be willing to light a candle instead of complaining for darkness. Don’t forget that we’re all in the same ship and if it goes down, we’ll go down all together.
In the end, I would like to mention Mahatma Gandhi’s influential words to help all of us get inspired and start the journey: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”.
Karine Suvaryan, English Club Animator